Informing Contexts – Week 4 (2/2)


What is it I intend with my work? This is dependent on what aspect of my practice I am relating this question to but, for my MA, the intent of work created is to spark conversations and further understanding of how humans negatively impact on their environment but also how, as a species, we can work to rectify our carelessness.

The simplest strategy I rely on to achieve this aim is one of gentle persuasion. In a time when we are used to hearing phrases such as charity fatigue, I do not want my work to add to any sense of heard it all before. But I do want there to be an emotional connection, something that makes the viewer consider what is in front of them.

I plan to align my work with organisations and individuals that have a synergy with my aims. My work leans more towards the concept than the content – the idea/intent than the form/structure – but only in the sense that the content wouldn’t be created without the idea as my images are created from, rather than being of. But I also need to be able and willing to allow for ideas and content to develop from the work I make, they may lead to something different and, in fact, that has probably already happened to a degree.

When I started the course my love of cyanotype was paramount – it still is a love – but my work is now looking deeper into the simple, and environmentally conscious anthotype process. This process may well lead to something else but the driver behind my work will still stem from human impact.

Another strategy to achieve my aim is to critic and review; to be fair yet truthful to myself. If I don’t feel my work is up to scratch I need to have the courage to try again or change.

I want these strategies to act as a guide throughout my work. By knowing what my strategy is, I hope to transfer that into the images I create so the audience that accesses it can connect and gain a sense of time well spent while viewing.

My work will have layers. Perhaps in its literal content and, as any photograph, they will have myriad possibility of meaning which is imparted by my own choices and experience and in the experiences of the viewer. But does this make for photographic ambiguity?

French photo historian Michel Frizot is quoted as saying: “the photograph is not in its essence a transparency through which we gain access to a known reality but, on the contrary, a source of ambiguity and often, perplexity. The photographic image is a constellation of questions for the eye because it offers viewers forms and signs they have never perceived as such and which conflict with their natural vision”.

To open the mind and create multiple interpretations is surely one of photography’s best assets.

Reference: [accessed Feb 16, 2017].